People of this caste are known as Vaishnav Brahmins in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh And Rajasthan. At the beginning of the 20th century, this sect declared to be the descendants of Rāma's sons, Kusha and Lava. Surnames includes Agravat Divakar Sharma Pipavat Ramanandi Vaishnav Sadhu acharya Ramanuj Nimavat Kubavat Yoganandi Devmurari Sukhanandi Nainuji Tilavat
The Ramanandi Sampradaya is one of the largest and most egalitarian Hindu sects India, around the Ganges Plain, and Nepal today. It mainly emphasizes the worship of Rāma, as well as Vishnu directly and other incarnations. While considered Vaiṣṇava, the Ramanandi are the largest ascetic group that celebrates the Śivarātri festival, which is dedicated to Shiva. Rāmānandī ascetics rely upon meditation and strict ascetic practices, but also believe that the grace of god is required for them to achieve liberation. For that reason, the Tyāga section of the Rāmānandī ascetics, unlike some Śaiva ascetics, do not cut the sacred thread. Their reasoning for this is that only Viṣṇu or Rāma can grant liberation.
Its ascetic wing constitutes the largest Vaishnava monastic order and may possibly be the largest monastic order in all of India. There are two major subgroups of Ramanandi ascetics: the Tyagi, who use ash for initiation, and the Naga, who are the militant wing.
Bhaktamal, a gigantic hagiographic work on Hindu saints and devotees written by Raghavadas in 1660, was a core text for all Vaishnavas including Ramanandis. This text lists Ramanuja, expounder of Vishishtadvaita school of Vedanta, and Ramananda as saints of the Ramanuja Sampradaya but Galta peeth of Ramanandi Vaishnavas have ruled out this by prohibiting Ramanuja Vaishnavas from taking Shahi snan in Kumbh Mela. Many localized commentaries of Bhaktakamal were taught to young Vaishnavas across India. In the 19th century, proliferation of the printing press in the Gangetic plains of North India allowed various commentaries of the text to be widely distributed. Of these, Bhagavan Prasad's Shri Bhaktamal: Tika, Tilak, aur Namvali Sahit was considered to be the most authoritative. In this text, Bhagvan Prasad lists 108 prominent Vaishnavas starting with Ramanuja and ending with Ramananda. Ramananda's guru Raghavananda is described as an egalitarian guru who taught students of all castes. Ramananda himself is described as an avatar of Rama, a humble student with great yogic talents who was asked to form his own sampradaya as a punishment by his guru. The text located his birth in Prayag in c. 1300 CE.
J.N. Farquhar, a noted missionary and indologist, published his own work on the Ramanandi Sampradaya based on his interaction with various Ramanandis at the Kumbh Mela of 1918. Farquhar credits Ramananda (c. 1400–1470 CE) and his followers as the origin of the North Indian practice of using Ram to refer to the Absolute. Based on the textual evidence and similarity of sect marks between Ramanandis and Sri Vaishnavas, Farquhar concludes that Ramananda migrated to Benares from Tamil Nadu. He acknowledges that Ramananda accepted disciples from all castes and did not observe the restrictions in matters of food. However, Farquhar finds no evidence to show that Ramananda endeavoured to "overturn caste as a social institution". On the other hand, Sita Ram, author of the Vaishnava history of Ayodhya, and George Grierson, eminent linguist and Indologist, represent Ramananda as saint who tried to transcend caste divisions of medieval India through the message of love and equality. The scholars also disagree on Ramananda's connection with Ramanuja. While Farquhar finds them completely unconnected, Sita Ram and Grierson place Ramananda within the Ramanuja tradition.
Up to the nineteenth century, many of the trade routes in northern India were guarded by groups of warrior-ascetics, including the Nāgā sections of the Rāmānandīs, who were feared because of their strength and fearlessness. The British took steps to disarm these militant groups of ascetics, but even today the sects still retain their heroic traditions.
Ramanandi live chiefly in the northern part of India. Ramanandi monasteries are found throughout western and central India, the Ganges basin, the Nepalese Terai, and the Himalayan foothills. Ramanandis are spread across India, mainly in Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. The majority of Hindu immigrants to Trinidad and Tobago belonged to Vaishnava sects such as the Ramanandi. Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago currently practice based on the teachings of Ramananda.
Saints Dhanna and Pipa were among the immediate disciples of Ramananda. Hymns written by them find mention in the Adi Granth, holy scripture of the Sikhs. Sects founded by saints Raidas, Sena and Maluk Das are also of a direct Ramanandi origin.
The poet-saint Tulsidas, who composed the Ramcharitmanas, was a member of this sect. His writings made Vishnu and Shiva devotees of each other and thereby bridged the gap between Vaishnavas and Shaivites. Because Tulsidas attempted to reconcile various theologies scholars like Ramchandra Shukla do not agree that he can considered to be a Ramanandi exclusively.
Baba Hari Dass (Devanagari: बाबा हरि दास) (26 March 1923 – 25 September 2018), born in Almora near Nainital, Uttar Pradesh (now Uttarakhand), India, was a yoga master, a silent monk, and a commentator of Indian scriptural tradition of Dharma and Moksha. He was classically trained in Ashtanga Yoga – Raja Yoga of Patanjali (the Yoga of Eight Limbs), as well as Kriya Yoga, Ayurveda, Samkhya, Tantra Yoga, Vedanta, and Sanskrit.
Born into the 13th generation of a Kumaoni Karnatak Brahmin lineage, in the lunar month of Chaitra, in Shukla Paksha (Rama Navami). he belonged to a traditional family and was one of several siblings (four brothers and two sisters). He was an author, playwright, martial arts teacher, sculptor and builder of temples. Upon his arrival in the US in the early 1971, he and his teachings inspired creation of several yoga centers and retreat programs in California and in Canada. His extensive literary output includes scriptural commentaries to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Samkhya Karika, and Vedanta, collections of wisdom aphorisms about the meaning and purpose of life, essays, plays, short stories, children's stories, kirtan mantras, and in-depth instructional yoga materials that form the basis of a yoga certification-training program.He was an early proponent of Ayurveda in the United States, an ancient Indian system of health and healing. In an annual rendition of Indian classic Ramayana, he taught performing arts, choreography and costume making. With the emphasis on selfless service (karma yoga) that guided his life and action that benefits the world, he devoted himself to helping others and in 1987 he opened Sri Ram Orphanage in Haridwar for homeless children in India. Although he did not speak, he was conversant in several languages in writing.To the local population of Nainital and Almora, Baba Hari Dass was also known as Haridas (lit "servant of Lord Hari"), as Haridas Baba, as Chota Maharaji (literally "little great king"), or as Harda Baba. Baba Hari Dass of Nainital is a different person than Swami Haridas who was a spiritual poet and classical musician of Bhakti movement era. Also, Haridas (1594 - 1691 AD) was a known saint of (Dagar) clan from Delhi whose temple exists in Jharoda Kalan village, in Najafgarh.Bhakti movement
The Bhakti movement refers to the theistic devotional trend that emerged in medieval Hinduism and later revolutionised in Sikhism. It originated in eighth-century south India (now Tamil Nadu and Kerala), and spread northwards. It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards, reaching its zenith between the 15th and 17th century CE.The Bhakti movement regionally developed around different gods and goddesses, and some sub-sects were Vaishnavism (Vishnu), Shaivism (Shiva), Shaktism (Shakti goddesses), and Smartism. Bhakti movement preached using the
local languages so that the message reached the masses.The movement was inspired by many poet-saints, who championed a wide range of philosophical positions ranging from theistic dualism of Dvaita to absolute monism of Advaita Vedanta.The movement has traditionally been considered as an influential social reformation in Hinduism, and provided an individual-focused alternative path to spirituality regardless of one's caste of birth or gender. Postmodern scholars question this traditional view and whether the Bhakti movement ever was a reform or rebellion of any kind. They suggest Bhakti movement was a revival, reworking and recontextualisation of ancient Vedic traditions.Scriptures of the Bhakti movement include the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavata Purana and Padma Purana.Brahmanda Purana
The Brahmanda Purana (Sanskrit: ब्रह्माण्ड पुराण, Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa) (r.c.9.hulk) is a Sanskrit text and one of the eighteen major Puranas, a genre of Hindu texts. It is listed as the eighteenth Maha-Purana in almost all the anthologies. The text is also referred in medieval Indian literature as the Vayaviya Purana or Vayaviya Brahmanda, and it may have been same as the Vayu Purana before these texts developed into two overlapping compositions.The text is named after one of the cosmological theories of Hinduism, namely the "cosmic egg" (Brahma-anda). It is among the oldest Puranas, the earliest core of the text may be from the 4th-century CE, continuously edited thereafter over time and it exists in numerous versions. The Brahmanda Purana manuscripts are encyclopedic in their coverage, covering topics such as cosmogony, Sanskara (rite of passage), genealogy, chapters on ethics and duties (Dharma), Yoga, geography, rivers, good government, administration, diplomacy, trade, festivals, a travel guide to places such as Kashmir, Cuttack and Kanchipuram, and other topics.The Brahmanda Purana is notable for including the Lalita Sahasranamam (a stotra praising Goddess as the supreme being in the universe), and being one of the early Hindu texts found in Bali, Indonesia, also called the Javanese-Brahmanda. The text is also notable for the Adhyatma Ramayana, the most important embedded set of chapters in the text, which philosophically attempts to reconcile Bhakti in god Rama and Shaktism with Advaita Vedanta, over 65 chapters and 4,500 verses.Brahmin
Brahmin (; Sanskrit: ब्राह्मण) is a varna (class) in Hinduism specialising as priests, teachers (acharya) and protectors of sacred learning across generations.The traditional occupation of Brahmins was that of priesthood at the Hindu temples or at socio-religious ceremonies and rite of passage rituals such as solemnising a wedding with hymns and prayers. Theoretically, the Brahmins were the highest ranking of the four social classes. In practice, Indian texts suggest that Brahmins were agriculturalists, warriors, traders and have held a variety of other occupations in the Indian subcontinent.Dnyaneshwar
Dnyaneshwar (IAST: Jñāneśvar), also referred to as Jnaneshwar, Jnanadeva, Dnyandev or Mauli (1275–1296) was a 13th-century Marathi saint, poet, philosopher and yogi of the Nath tradition. In his short life of 21 years, he authored Dnyaneshwari (a commentary on the Bhagavad Gita) and Amrutanubhav. These are the oldest surviving literary works in the Marathi language, under the patronage of the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri, and these are considered to be milestones in Marathi literature. Dnyaneshwar's ideas reflect the non-dualistic Advaita Vedanta philosophy and an emphasis on Yoga and oneness of Vishnu and Shiva. His legacy inspired saint-poets such as Eknath and Tukaram, and he has been one of the foundations of the Varkari (Vithoba-Krishna) Bhakti movement tradition of Hinduism in Maharashtra.Hindu denominations
Hindu denominations are traditions within Hinduism centered on one or more gods or goddesses, such as Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Sometimes the term is used for sampradayas led by a particular guru with a particular philosophy.Hinduism has no central doctrinal authority and many practising Hindus do not claim to belong to any particular denomination or tradition. Four major traditions are, however, used in scholarly studies: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smartism. These are sometimes referred to as the denominations of Hinduism, and they differ in the primary deity at the centre of the tradition. A notable feature of Hindu denominations is that they do not deny other concepts of the divine or deity, and often celebrate the other as henotheistic equivalent. The denominations of Hinduism, states Lipner, are unlike those found in major religions of the world, because Hindu denominations are fuzzy with individuals practising more than one, and he suggests the term "Hindu polycentrism".Although Hinduism contains many denominations and philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites and the questioning of authority.History of Manipur
The history of Manipur (Kangleipak in ancient times) is reflected by archaeological research, mythology and written history.With the finding of old lost Puya(written documents) called " Wakoklol Heelen Thilen Ameilon Pukok " which was written around 1398 BCE(verified by National Archives of India,New Delhi on 29/11/1989 ) at the time of King Mongyamba .So the Kings of Kangleipak need to be updated.
Since ancient times, the Meitei people have lived in the valleys of Manipur alongside the highlanders in the hills and valley in peace. Meitei Pangal (Muslims) people settled in the valleys during the reign of Meidingu Khagemba in the year 1606. Since then, they also lived along with the Meitei.
Mythological origins begin with the reign of the "Konchin Tukthapa Ipu Athoupa Pakhangpa" (Pakhangpa was the name given to him meaning "The one who knows his father"), who gave birth the seven clans of Meitei society.
The pre-Hindu era is set forth in the sacred writing puya "Wakoklon Heelel Thilel Salai Amailon Pukok". Introduction of the Vaishnavism school of Hinduism brought about changes in the history of the state. Manipur's early history is set forth in the Cheitharon Kumbaba, a chronicle of royal events which is believed to record events from the foundation of the ruling dynasty.Manipur became a princely state under British rule in 1891, the last of the independent states to be incorporated into British India. During the Second World War, Manipur was the scene of battles between Japanese and Allied forces. The Japanese were beaten back before the Allies could enter Imphal. This proved to be one of the turning points of the war.After the war, the Manipur Constitution Act, 1947, established a democratic form of government with the Maharaja as the Executive Head and an elected legislature. In 1949, Maharaja Budhachandra was summoned to Shillong, capital of the Indian province of Meghalaya where he signed a Treaty of Accession merging the kingdom into India. Thereafter the legislative assembly was dissolved and Manipur became part of the Republic of India in October, 1949. It was made a union territory in 1956 and a full-fledged state in 1972.Mairembam Koireng Singh became the first Chief Minister in 1972 of the State of Manipur.List of religions and spiritual traditions
While religion is hard to define, one standard model of religion, used in religious studies courses, was proposed by Clifford Geertz, who defined it as a
[…] system of symbols which acts to establish powerful, pervasive, and long-lasting moods and motivations in men by formulating conceptions of a general order of existence and clothing these conceptions with such an aura of factuality that the moods and motivations seem uniquely realistic." A critique of Geertz's model by Talal Asad categorized religion as "an anthropological category." Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to explain the origin of life or the universe. They tend to derive morality, ethics, religious laws, or a preferred lifestyle from their ideas about the cosmos and human nature. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world.The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system", but religion differs from private belief in that it has a public aspect. Most religions have organized behaviours, including clerical hierarchies, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, congregations of laity, regular meetings or services for the purposes of veneration of a deity or for prayer, holy places (either natural or architectural) or religious texts. Certain religions also have a sacred language often used in liturgical services. The practice of a religion may also include sermons, commemoration of the activities of a god or gods, sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trance, rituals, rites, ceremonies, worship, initiations, funerals, marriages, meditation, invocation, mediumship, music, art, dance, public service or other aspects of human culture. Religious beliefs have also been used to explain parapsychological phenomena such as out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences and reincarnation, along with many other paranormal and supernatural experiences.Some academics studying the subject have divided religions into three broad categories: world religions, a term which refers to transcultural, international faiths; indigenous religions, which refers to smaller, culture-specific or nation-specific religious groups; and new religious movements, which refers to recently developed faiths. One modern academic theory of religion, social constructionism, says that religion is a modern concept that suggests all spiritual practice and worship follows a model similar to the Abrahamic religions as an orientation system that helps to interpret reality and define human beings, and thus religion, as a concept, has been applied inappropriately to non-Western cultures that are not based upon such systems, or in which these systems are a substantially simpler construct.Matha
A matha (मठ, IAST: maṭha) or mutt is a Sanskrit word that means "cloister, institute or college", and it also refers to a monastery in Hinduism.Monastic life, for spiritual studies or the pursuit of moksha (spiritual liberation) traces it roots to the 1st millennium BCE, in the Vedic tradition. The earliest Hindu monasteries (mathas) are indirectly inferred to be from the centuries around the start of the common era, based on the existence of Sannyasa Upanishads with strongly Advaita Vedanta content. The matha tradition in Hinduism was likely well established in the second half of 1st millennium CE, as is evidenced by archeological and epigraphical evidence.Mathas grew over time, with the most famous and still surviving centers of Vedanta studies being those started by Adi Shankara. Other major and influential mathas belong to various schools of Hindu philosophy, such as those of Vaishnavism and Shaivism. The monastery host and feed students, sannyasis (monks, renouncers, ascetics), gurus and are led by Acharyas. These monasteries are sometimes attached to Hindu temples and have their codes of conduct, initiation and election ceremonies. The mathas in the Hindu tradition have not been limited to religious studies, and historical evidence suggest that they were centers for diverse studies such as medieval medicine, grammar and music.The term matha is also used for monastery in Jainism, and the earliest monasteries near Jain temples are dated to be from about the 5th-century CE.Rama
Rama or Ram (; Sanskrit: राम, IAST: Rāma), also known as Ramachandra, is a major deity of Hinduism. He is the seventh avatar of the god Vishnu, one of his most popular incarnations along with Krishna and Gautama Buddha. In Rama-centric traditions of Hinduism, he is considered the Supreme Being.Rama was born to Kaushalya and Dasharatha in Ayodhya, the ruler of the Kingdom of Kosala. His siblings included Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatrughna. He married Sita. Though born in a royal family, their life is described in the Hindu texts as one challenged by unexpected changes such as an exile into impoverished and difficult circumstances, ethical questions and moral dilemmas. Of all their travails, the most notable is the kidnapping of Sita by demon-king Ravana, followed by the determined and epic efforts of Rama and Lakshmana to gain her freedom and destroy the evil Ravana against great odds. The entire life story of Rama, Sita and their companions allegorically discusses duties, rights and social responsibilities of an individual. It illustrates dharma and dharmic living through model characters.Rama is especially important to Vaishnavism. He is the central figure of the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, a text historically popular in the South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. His ancient legends have attracted bhasya (commentaries) and extensive secondary literature and inspired performance arts. Two such texts, for example, are the Adhyatma Ramayana – a spiritual and theological treatise considered foundational by Ramanandi monasteries, and the Ramcharitmanas – a popular treatise that inspires thousands of Ramlila festival performances during autumn every year in India.Rama legends are also found in the texts of Jainism and Buddhism, though he is sometimes called Pauma or Padma in these texts, and their details vary significantly from the Hindu versions.Ramananda
Ramananda (IAST: Rāmānanda) was a 14th-century Vaishnava devotional poet saint, in the Ganges river region of northern India. The Hindu tradition recognizes him as the founder of the Ramanandi Sampradaya, the largest monastic Hindu renunciant community in modern times.Born in a Brahman family, Ramananda for the most part of his life lived in the holy city of Varanasi. His year of birth or death are uncertain, but historical evidence suggests he was one of the earliest sants and a pioneering figure of the Bhakti movement as it rapidly grew in north India, sometime between the 14th and mid 15th century during its Islamic rule period. Tradition asserts that Ramananda developed his philosophy and devotional themes inspired by the south Indian Vedanta philosopher Ramanuja, however evidence also suggests that Ramananda was influenced by Nathpanthi ascetics of the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy.An early social reformer, Ramananda accepted disciples without discriminating anyone by gender, class, caste or religion (he accepted Muslims). Traditional scholarship holds that his disciples included later Bhakti movement poet-sants such as Kabir, Ravidas, Bhagat Pipa and others, however some postmodern scholars have questioned some of this spiritual lineage while others have supported this lineage with historical evidence. His ideas also influenced the founding of Sikhism in 15th century, and his verse and he are mentioned in the Sikh scripture Adi Granth.Ramananda was known for composing his works and discussing spiritual themes in vernacular Hindi, stating that this makes knowledge accessible to the masses.Sampradaya
In Hinduism, a sampradaya ( Sanskrit : सम्प्रदाय IAST sampradāya) can be translated as ‘tradition’, 'spiritual lineage' or a ‘religious system’. It relates to a succession of masters and disciples, which serves as a spiritual channel, and provides a delicate network of relationships that lends stability to a religious identity.Swami Ramanand
Not to confuse with Ramananda who propagated Ramanandi SampradayaRamanand Swami (born Rama Sharma) to a Brahmin family in Ayodhya in 1738. His parents were Ajay Sharma (father) and Sumati (mother). He was considered to be the incarnation of Uddhava, a close friend of Krishna. Ramanand was the founder and head of the Uddhav Sampraday. Ramanand Swami adopted the Vishishtadvaita doctrine of the Vaishnava which was first propounded by Ramanuja several centuries earlier. In his travels to Srirangam in southern India in his early life, Ramanand Swami said that Ramanuja gave him diksha (initiation) in a dream and appointed him in his line as an acharya. Ramanand Swami then travelled north to Saurastra to spread his philosophy. Before dying in 1802, Ramanand Swami passed the reins of the Uddhav Sampraday to Swaminarayan.Tulsidas
Tulsidas (Hindi pronunciation: [t̪ʊls̪iːd̪aːs̪], also known as Goswami Tulsidas; 1532–1623) was a Hindu Vaishnava saint and poet, renowned for his devotion to the deity Rama. Tulsidas wrote several popular works in Sanskrit and Awadhi; he is best known as the author of the epic Ramcharitmanas, a retelling of the Sanskrit Ramayana based on Rama's life in the vernacular Awadhi dialect of Hindi.
Tulsidas spent most of his life in the city of Varanasi. The Tulsi Ghat on the Ganges River in Varanasi is named after him. He founded the Sankatmochan Temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman in Varanasi, believed to stand at the place where he had the sight of the deity. Tulsidas started the Ramlila plays, a folk-theatre adaption of the Ramayana.He has been acclaimed as one of the greatest poets in Hindi, Indian, and world literature. The impact of Tulsidas and his works on the art, culture and society in India is widespread and is seen to date in vernacular language, Ramlila plays, Hindustani classical music, popular music, and television series.Ujjain Simhastha
Ujjain Simhastha is a Hindu religious mela held every 12 years in the Ujjain city of Madhya Pradesh, India. The name is also transliterated as Sinhastha or Singhastha. In Hindi, the fair is also called Simhasth or Sinhasth (due to schwa deletion). The name derives from the fact that it is held when the Jupiter is in Leo (Simha in Hindu astrology).
It is one of the four fairs traditionally recognized as Kumbha Melas, and is also known as Ujjain Kumbh Mela. According to Hindu mythology, Vishnu dropped drops of amrita (the drink of immortality) at four places, while transporting it in a kumbha (pot). These four places, including Ujjain, are identified as the present-day sites of the Kumbh Mela."Kumbh" in its literal English translation means "Pot", which emerged from "Samudra Manthan"(Churning of the Ocean) between Gods and Demons. The term ‘Mela‘ signifies’Fair‘.
The Simhastha at Ujjain is an adaptation of the Nashik-Trimbak Simhastha fair to a local festival of uncertain origin. In its current form, it began in the 18th century when the Maratha ruler Ranoji Shinde invited ascetics from Nashik to Ujjain's local festival. Both Ujjain and Nashik fairs adopted the Kumbha myth from the Haridwar Kumbh Mela. The Simhastha at Ujjayini pays special reverence to the temple of Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, which is the abode of Lord Shiva's Swayambhu lingam. A river-side festival, it is celebrated on the banks of Shipra river. The fair attracts millions of pilgrims.Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism is one of the major Hindu denominations along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism. It is also called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas or Vaishnavites, and it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord.The tradition is notable for its avatar doctrine, wherein Krishna is revered in one of many distinct incarnations. Of these, ten avatars of Vishnu are the most studied. Rama, Krishna, Narayana, Kalki, Hari, Vithoba, Kesava, Madhava, Govinda, Sri Nathji and Jagannath are among the popular names used for the same supreme being. The tradition has traceable roots to the 1st millennium BCE, as Bhagavatism, also called Krishnaism. Later developments led by Ramananda created a Rama-oriented movement, now the largest monastic group in Asia. The Vaishnava tradition has many sampradayas (denominations, sub-schools) ranging from the medieval era Dvaita school of Madhvacharya to Vishishtadvaita school of Ramanuja.The tradition is known for the loving devotion to an avatar of Vishnu (often Krishna), and it has been key to the spread of the Bhakti movement in South Asia in the 2nd millennium CE. Key texts in Vaishnavism include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Pancaratra (Agama) texts and the Bhagavata Purana.